Success story

Keyrus Delivers Automated Stockpile Reporting for Grindrod

Grindrod can now accurately report on the size of the stockpiles throughout its southern African terminals. This was another module delivered by Keyrus in an ambitious, multi-phase development project that has achieved complete digitalisation of the logistics giant’s Terminal business.

Grindrod now benefits from accurate, highly detailed, real-time stockpile level reporting,” notes Vishal Deeplaul, CEO of Grindrod’s Terminals business. “We have achieved complete visibility into the commodities that enter and leave our premises.”

Grindrod Terminals needs reliable measurements of each of the stockpiles held within its Richards Bay and Maputo terminals. This, however, is arguably the most difficult metric within its operation to track with total accuracy.

Keyrus specialises in helping enterprises leverage their data to enhance performance. It made sophisticated use of progressive technology to design the stockpile management solution, including Microsoft Azure cloud-based services and Tableau Embedded Analytics.

The commodities handled by Grindrod enter the terminals by rail or road and are stockpiled before being loaded onto vessels for export.  The stockpiles must be monitored so that Grindrod can report tonnages to its clients.

In the past, data was manually extracted from various third-party systems that tracked operations in the terminals and recorded in various Excel spreadsheets. These figures were used to work out what was left in the stockpiles. This information was supplemented by calculations based on physical measurement of various parameters.

“The consolidation of this data from various sources was time-consuming and prone to human error,” explains  Bronwyn Burdis, Data and Analytics Manager at Grindrod’s Terminal business. “There was always therefore some delay in feedback to clients about their current stockpile levels.”

Data is now obtained from the different systems at the exact time the commodity enters the terminal. This is integrated and consolidated in a customised, centralised cloud-based solution to deliver timely stockpile reports.

The solution precisely tracks the commodities in every wagon on every train that enters and leaves the terminals, as well as in every vessel hold loaded. The result? Accurate stockpile reporting that gives a simple view of what comes into—and goes out of—every stockpile. Tableau’s powerful drill- down capabilities allow users to view this information at extreme levels of detail.

“We consulted extensively with Grindrod to fine-tune the rules governing stockpile measurement,” explains senior consultant at Keyrus, Craig Andrew. “We considered every scenario to ensure we came up with consistent rules to define stockpile events.”

The solution is flexible, however, and includes audited stock adjustment capability should integrated systems fail or go offline for maintenance. A full audit trail of adjustments is recorded as part of the overall solution.

“The stockpile measurement module represents another phase of an ambitious project to achieve complete digitalisation of Grindrod’s terminal operations. The overall project, which we began in January 2019,  has delivered centralised, real-time visualisation of the operational data for each of Grindrod’s terminals, as well as an analytics platform for decision-making,” sums up Craig Andrew.

Andrew notes that the stockpile measurement module helped Keyrus and Grindrod to fine-tune the entire, end-to-end digitalisation solution.

“As this is essentially the endpoint of reporting, any inaccuracies picked up during testing led us to investigate downstream,” he explains. “We were then able to apply fixes to improve confidence in the entire system.”

“This has significantly increased the efficiency of Grindrod’s operations by connecting its workforce and systems in real time across distances,” notes Greg Guye, CEO at Keyrus South Africa. “This could only be achieved due to our client’s forward thinking and willingness to invest in the modern technology capable of solving business challenges.”

Keyrus prides itself on being a reliable partner, with a personal hands-on approach, that strives to build long term relationships with its clients.

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